Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes!



I don't think that my great love of red velvet is much of a secret around here. After all, I've previously posted about a red velvet cheeseball and red velvet brownies with buttercream icing. I have an entire pinterest board dedicated to red velvet recipes too! 


My fiance's birthday was last month, and I had arranged for a get together with friends at a local brewery. I knew people would order snacks, but I wanted to bring a treat, and he loves red velvet almost as much as I do! I saw a recipe for red velvet cheesecake cupcakes and knew that would be perfect. 


This is the recipe that I (mostly!) followed, via Wilton.


Ingredients:

graham cracker crust
    1 cup graham cracker crumbs
         3 tablespoons butter, melted
         3 tablespoons granulated sugar

filling 
         2 1/2 packages (20 oz.) cream cheese, softened
         3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
         2 eggs
         1 tablespoon all purpose flour
         1/4 cup sour cream

         Cake
         1 box (18.25 oz.) Favorite red velvet cupcake recipe or mix
         water, oil, eggs to prepare mix

         Cream Cheese Icing
         1 1/2 pkg. (12 oz.) cream cheese, softened
         2 teaspoons vanilla
         1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
         4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar(about 1 lb.)
         pecan halves (optional)

Instructions:
Crust: Line muffin pan with baking cups.
In small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Press 1/2 tablespoon of mixture in each baking cup; press down with back of spoon.
Filling: Preheat oven to 350°F.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla; mix until thoroughly combined. Beat in eggs, flour and sour cream; mix until smooth. Spoon about 2 tablespoons mixture over crust in baking cups.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until cheesecake is just set. Remove from oven, place on cooling grid and cool 5 minutes.
Cake: In large bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, water and oil with electric mixer at low speed 30 seconds. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl; beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Spoon batter over baked cheesecake mixture, filling baking cups 3/4 full.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until Cake Tester or toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan on cooling grid 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely.
Icing: In large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth.
To Assemble: Ice cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing. Top with pecans if desired.





I will admit that I did not make my icing, but used some from a jar! It was late when I began baking, and I was too exhausted, so used the easy way out this time  ;)


I also didn't add the pecans. 


Despite that, they were delicious! 







What is your favorite red velvet recipe? I'd love to try it sometime! 





Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Apron Celebration Giveaway Winner!

If you missed our giveaway last week, never fear! There will be more opportunities to win through the end of the year.

We've also elected to extend the "giveaway" sale through the end of the week. Use the code "giveaway" (on the shopping cart page) for 20% off your order of $30 or more.

Now, the point of the email. Drum roll please...

Congratulations to Twitter Follower/Blog Commenter/Facebook Fan Extraordinaire: Pam W.!

Send me an email and we'll make sure to send Sofia to you directly! eileen (at) scarletthreads.org

Friday, October 11, 2013

Giveaway! Handmade Apron Celebration

We promised a special giveaway and sale when we reach 5000 fans on our facebook page. Unfortunately, I’m impatient… I simply can’t wait that long. We reached 4,448 today – time to celebrate! Don’t worry, though, we are still going to have a big party at 5000 with giveaways galore through the end of the year. Why?
The answer is simple: we have tons to celebrate!
  1. Our sweet “Operations Manager” Hannah has moved to a new region of China to continue to excellent work of orphan care (and still finds time to keep ST going in our Village).
  2. Carrie and Richard crafted and launched a beautiful new website for Scarlet Threads – trust me… it’s THAT much better than our old site.
  3. Carrie, Lori, and Mellie worked long hours to build a new Chin Collection of children’s clothing and accessories through a mutually enriching relationship with Burmese refugees in their hometown of Midland, TX.
  4. Scarlet Threads launched the Adoption Grant Fund and created Adoption Fundraising Kits that have proven to be a gigantic success for the families raising funds and served as another heart linkage between our business and our origin – Orphan Care and Adoption.
  5. Plus! We have new aprons and new Wired {He}arts that we need to proudly introduce.
  6. This just in! Our very own STaffer Lexi is having her very first baby! Much to celebrate, indeed.
So, we should say thank you to our community and customer base. If you are visiting for the first time, welcome! I hope that you find the ST products and our mission - to empower women and families through employment and new market opportunity – inspiring and worth supporting! Don’t forget to bookmark our site for your Christmas shopping list! We launch new sales and products regularly.
We’re giving away a handmade apron – one of the newest additions to our collection – Sofia!
Reminiscent of a blazing sunset in the American southwest, this beautiful apron is painted with the colors of a desert in a trendy tribal print.  Chocolate brown trim and ruffles complete the classic and flattering pattern, and the neck is fully adjustable with two coconut shell buttons.  Handmade by Deng Jia, this apron is sure to become a favorite.”

How do you enter to win?
  1. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and right here on the Blog! (1 entry each)
  2. Like our giveaway post on Facebook, Share our post on Twitter! (1 entry each)
  3. Share our giveaway post on Facebook! (2 entries)
  4. Leave a comment on the blog / Facebook : What do you like about our new website? (1 entry each location – 1 comment per person per location)
  5. Leave a comment on the blog / Facebook: What is your favorite product that you’ve purchased or want to purchase? (1 entry per location – 1 comment per person per location)
  6. Use “giveaway” for 20% off in our shop your order of $30 or more. (5 bonus entries) You have to enter the code on the Shopping Cart page. If you go directly to checkout, there isn't a spot for the code... :)
Fine Print: We’ll select the winner randomly (number of entries will help you!). For twitter users, make sure you cc us in your post (@ScarletThreadFT). FB Users – the share may have to be public for us to see it (make sure that we are tagged or that you use the share button from our FB post).
Entries will be accepted through Friday 10/18 and the winner will be announced on or around 10/23.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Community

By: Lori Blong

Tonight, I pulled into their dilapidated apartment complex, parked my suburban and got out. I walked through the sandy dirt and broken glass to her apartment where I knocked on the door. My friend opened expectantly and I slipped out of my shoes to respect her customs. I entered and we hugged. She took my baby from my arms and snuggled him close as she darted up the stairs to tell her friends that their bed was on its way.

A mom, a dad and three sweet kids came down the stairs smiling and chattering, giddy with excitement. They had been sleeping all together on one pallet on the floor for the three months that they have lived in Midland. They were about to get a king sized mattress. Could anything be better!?!
I watched with tears in my eyes as the truck pulled in with the mattress in the back. That sweet mama held her baby and smiled shyly as she watched her new bed being unloaded from the truck and carried into her apartment upstairs. The daddy smiled at her as he helped carry up an old recliner and new bedding and an office chair, their kids standing by in anticipation.

Jared pulled up and my kids got out to see what was happening. Caleb found his friends and started rough housing in the dirt with them. Language barriers don’t matter when you are only four. Merritt watched, totally overwhelmed, as sweet refugees began to gather around, to talk and celebrate the new bounty of their comrades. Jess continued to circulate the arms of these Asian mothers, smiling up into their eyes. My heart nearly burst as I watched my kids experience something greater than themselves.

Friendship…fellowship…community.

We walked across the complex, through the dust and trash, the cigarette butts and the glass, to another apartment. A pregnant mama came out, dancing and jumping for joy. She shook our hands and patted the heads of our babies, thanking us over and over. She didn’t know that we were really receiving the greater blessing. Her new bed meant so much to her…no more aching back from sleeping on the floor…better rest for her husband and her other three children…a glimpse of life improving for her family. But her joy and celebration at something we take so for granted…

Yes, we all received the greater blessing.

---

For people in the Permian Basin, we are going to begin coordinating supply donations for our refugee friends.  So many of us have extra furniture stacked in storage units and garages and spare rooms.  And there are newly arrived refugees in our community with quite literally no furniture.  So, if you have household items you would like to donate, please email donations@scarletthreads.org and we will coordinate with you.  Please note: We are not a big organization with full-time staff and we are unable to provide pick-up and drop off services. We are happy to coordinate donations, but we ask that you make arrangements to deliver the items directly to the recipient.   Just consider it an amazing opportunity to get to know the local Burmese community!  We promise you will receive the greater blessing.

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's Bigger... It's Better...

Our new website is launched and looks amazing!

Check it out.

Snowflakes are available for pre-sale! They're still here in China, but should be in the USA to ship out in early November!